Peter Dawson
Amy WOODFORDE-FINDEN (1860-1919)
A Lover in Damascus [Far across the Desert: Where The Abana Flows: Beloved in Your Absence: How Many a Lonely Caravan: If in the Great Bazaars: Allah be With Us]
Orchestra/George Byng
Four Indian Love Lyrics [Temple Bells: Less Than the Dust: Kashmiri Love Song: Till I Wake]
Orchestra/Lawrance Collingwood
Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893)
Don Juan’s Serenade Op.38 No.1
To the Forest Op.47 No.5
Edward GERMAN (1862-1936)
Merrie England - Yeomen of England
Glorious Devon
Rolling Down to Rio
Orchestra/George Byng
Edward ELGAR (1857-1934)
Caractacus - But Rome and all her Legions: Oh my Warriors
Orchestra/John Barbirolli
Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901)
Il Trovatore - Ah, could I behold the glances
Otello - Cruel is He
Orchestra/George Byng
Arthur SULLIVAN (1842-1900)
The Lost Chord
Herbert Dawson (organ)
Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828)
The Erlking
Gerald Moore (piano)
Modest MUSSORGSKY (1839-1881)
The song of the flea
Orchestra/John Barbirolli
Georg Frideric HANDEL (1685-1759)
Acis and Galatea - I rage, I melt, I burn…O ruddier than the cherry
Samson - Honour and Arms
Orchestra/George Byng
Messiah - Why Do the Nations?
Orchestra/Lawrance Collingwood
Peter Dawson (baritone) with accompaniments as above

This is one of Beulah’s regular downloads, so you need to access their homepage for details of download prices and availability of tracks. I have received a disc with numerous tracks, all listed above.

Dawson is a popular subject for reissue, but his repertoire and discography is enormous, and given his propensity to record under a pseudonym or two, I think it unlikely that we’ll ever have a truly comprehensive stable of reissues. What record companies have largely done is to group his recordings schematically into things like Empire songs, or ballads, and art-songs, or his Handel records, and this has served well enough as an entrée.

Beulah has sensibly decided to present the two Amy Woodforde-Finden cycles that he recorded in 1930 and 1932. I should note that my own review copy of A Lover in Damascus is truncated: If in the Great Bazaars stops after a brief moment and there is no Allah be With Us. I assume this is just a review copy glitch. The Four Indian Love Lyrics is by some distance the better known cycle and was contained in the Very Best Of Peter Dawson LP box on World Records [SM 411-414]. This probably makes the other cycle the more valuable though it’s less interesting artistically. The recording of the Four Indian Love Lyrics is notable for the Grand Hotel element in the Kashmiri Love Song.

Dawson sings Edward German with confidence and stout, bluff manliness; just what’s needed, in fact. His diction is excellent, as was the diction of so many of his contemporaries. His Elgar is superb, his Sullivan equally so. His Handelian divisions sparkle and this famous trio of recordings should make him new friends, one hopes. There is a late acoustic, a 1922 Verdi, sung in English of course that broadens the spectrum somewhat. His Erlking is sung in the vernacular, as was the fashion: Gerald Moore is the pianist.

If downloads are your thing - they’re not mine but they may be in future - Beulah’s catalogue should offer some tasty items.

Jonathan Woolf